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Red Raider Hardball | Texas Tech Beats Northwestern, Starts Season 4-0

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Date Start Time Texas Tech Opponent Result
2.18.11 6:00 p.m. Jon Neely
W, 1-0
W. Michigan: Mike Moyer
L, 0-1
WMU 0, TTU 8
2.19.11 2:30 p.m. Robbie Kilcrease (LHP)
W, 1-0
Northwestern: Jack Havey
L, 0-1
NU 1, TTU 6
2.19.11 6:00 p.m. Jamen Parten
W, 1-0
Utah Valley: Zane Gray
L, 0-1
UV 2, TTU 6
2.20.11 1:30 p.m. David Paiz
W, 1-0
Northwestern: Matt Gailey
L, 0-1
NU 6, TTU 8


*Click on the score for boxscore. Texas Tech series preview (pdf).

Red Raiders Defeat Northwestern, 8-6 | I know I shouldn't get too excited about a 4-0 start, but I'm happy for this group.  I can't remember how this team started off last year, but I do remember they started off well and then faded once they started to play some mid-week games and then started to play better once conference (weekend) play started.  Perhaps the difference is that the pitching is pretty good and it's not the offense that's just bailing the pitching out.  This weekend, there was really only one bad pitching performance from Aaron Corwin, who didn't register an out yesterday (0.0 IP; 3 H; 5 R; 4 ER; 2 BB; 0 SO), but the team and the pitching staff rallied. 

And if you're not paying attention, RHP/RF David Paiz saved the day yesterday, coming in for Corwin.  Remember, Paiz is a true freshman.  That's right, a true freshman, and he's starting in right field, was at designated hitter yesterday and he pitched 4 innings after Corwin (4.0 IP; 3 H; 0 ER; 2 BB; 6 SO) striking out 6.  And John Neely (2.0 IP 3 H; 0 ER; 0 BB; 1 SO) earned the save. 

At the plate yesterday, SS Kelby Tomlinson was outstanding (4-5; 3 RBI) while 1B Stephen Hagen hit his first home run of the season (2-4; 1 HR; 2 RBI).

Red Raiders Start 4-0 | LAJ's George Watson and DT's Jose Rodriguez have their post-game thoughts and this from head coach Dan Spencer:

"I thought we were a touch complacent, to be honest with you, in the middle innings after we got back the lead, but I think that’s part of dealing with young guys," head coach Dan Spencer said. "The games are longer, the outs are harder to get and we don’t understand that yet. We’re trying to get them into the mindset that at the end of the year, when they count up wins, they all count the same and you don’t want to give one away when you have the lead."

And Paiz talks about helping out on the mound:

"It felt great on the mound," Paiz sad. "It got ugly sometimes but I got the job done. I wish I could have helped with the stick a little more, but we fought back and showed what kind of team we have. I didn’t get to warm up as much as I’d like but when the coach calls you in you have to get the job done. Everyone fought back and we got the win that we needed."

And in an somewhat funny exchange, when Spencer recruited Paiz, he had never seen him pitch:

"We recruited him as a hitter," Spencer said. "The only time I saw him (pitch) was long after he signed, and I saw him in the summer and he pitched…he threw an inning and I went ‘Holy smokes, shoot we’ll be able to use him on the mound too.’"

I've posted from video from the DT summarizing the series after the jump.